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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Vienna, Austria
    Posts
    12

    Lovely commute - sweaty arrival

    hi everyone,

    I'm using my bike to get around town (or at least I'm planning on doing that again). That means, I'm not just commuting to work and back home, but I'm using my bike to go to Uni, the library, to meet friends and anywhere else that I need to go. Going by bike is super practical because it's not really a very big city and going places means max. 30 min drive.

    The problem is, Vienna is built on hills. You can't go ANYWHERE without it being either down- or uphill and it can get quite steep if you don't want to take the 5k detour (that is probably not even much flatter).
    This also means, that wherever I go - I arrive sweaty. Depending on the route I'll be drenched. I'm not even going fast or anything (especially with all the red lights)...how do you deal with that?
    I mean, nobody in class cares if my hair looks weird and I can change into another t-shirt. But if I have to go places and actually look a bit like a normal person, all the sweatiness is unhelpful.

    Tipps?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    A sweat-friendly haircut can make a huge difference - a wash-and-go style that you can just run your fingers through at your destination and let it dry.

    I sweat pretty heavily too, and it's amazing how much fresher I look and feel just toweling off and changing into dry clothes, even without a shower. I'm not sure I could get away with it at someplace super businesslike, but for less-formal offices and social situations, it's plenty.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,101
    Let yourself cool down/air dry for a few minutes after arrival, before you even attempt to wash up. It seems counter-intuitive, but I find if I rush to wash my face, I keep sweating. I wash my face with a a travel sized bottle of my normal face wash and re-apply moisturizer w/sunscreen and any make up. I either use a small hand towel I carry, with regular soap from a rest room to do a spot wash (underarms, feet, neck), or I have, on some occasions used those bath cloth things you can heat up in the microwave if there's no water alternative. Some people use baby wipes.
    When I had a longer (14 mile) hilly commute, I had very short, spikey hair. I just rewet it and put some gel in. My hair is still short, but is longer and requires more styling now. But, my commute to work is 5 miles, all downhill/flat. It's been fine so far, but I know I will be a bit sweaty in the coming months, as I am a head sweater! I just had it cut a little shorter, so the underneath part isn't as thick. I also have a very small flat iron, that I keep at the office. Just in case.
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    2011 Guru Praemio
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,981
    You know I have never taken a shower at work after a bike commute. And I've been cycling to different workplaces for over the last 20 yrs. I've cycled daily on some hot humid summer days to work...31 km. round trip when I lived in Toronto ..which gets humid hot summers like New York State @100% humidity.

    For myself, I always give myself lots of time to wash my face, change clothes. I try to give myself almost an hr...which includes clothing change and getting coffee to ease into my work day. I don't dash to my desk and start work. I hate that way of beginning day because it just puts my brain in stress mode which destroys what cycling does for me: it de-stresses me.

    By then, the sweat has dried off. I'm like that but others are different. Certainly I do sweat a lot in the face, --red/pink face, sweat pouring down my face if it's very humid hot....but in Vancouver and Calgary, the summers are not humid like Ontario. (Even though you hear locals complain. They may have not lived in other parts of Canada/the world.)

    Today I cycled 28 km. round trip to my favourite bakery through a river valley park system with some minor hills, but enough to get your heart pumping and get your face at least pink, sweaty. The store clerk chatted up with me. I found out she had only been in Canada last 15 months. Before that it was, 5 years in Taiwan.

    She lives only 8 km. max. from bakery! I said to her she could cycle. She giggled and said she was lazy. Beside she would get sweaty, etc. Really, we have different perceptions of physical exertion and tolerance of sweat, cleanliness/uncleaniless etc. (She was small like me and light in weight. So most likely, she would not sweat horribly /tons..)

    I've been cycling for so many years....that I forget the sweat thing is a huge deal/(psychological) barrier for some women. In some years, my work commute bike routes included at least 1 10% hill upward.
    I think men concern themselves about it but seem to complain/say less.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 04-13-2014 at 03:30 PM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,101
    Well, sometimes I didn't feel totally "refreshed" with my cleanup when I was commuting 14 miles, with a pretty good hill right before getting to my school. But, I kind of would deal with it. It would have been a lot nicer to just have a shower. Now, my dilemma is whether to try commuting in street clothes. Personally, I don't think I'll do it, even though it's only 5 miles. I'd have to go slower than I already do, so as not to sweat hardly at all, and frankly, the wonderful kind of urban riding dresses and pants I see in magazines like Momentum aren't in my wardrobe. Plus, the way home involves some sweat worthy hills and traffic. I tend to wear either tight capris/jegging type pants or shorter pencil skirts. I have a few dresses that might work, with bike shorts underneath, and one actual cycling dress.You are right Shooting Star. I have a very close friend who is overweight. She states she hates exercise, mostly because she hates sweating. She'll go out and walk, and she gardens, but it's not fun for me to walk with her, it's so slow. I love to sweat, as it means I've worked, but not so much on my way to work!
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,981
    Over the years, Crankin I've a number of women comment to me about the fear of sweat and not being able to shower that would stop them from cycling. I don't try to convince them anything. I just continue with my own thing. I have had some questions here and there about commuting routes, bike panniers, lights, etc.

    I dunno. I just make sure I change out of cycling clothing at worksite, which is why I have no interest in cycling to work in my street clothing.
    And I make sure my polyester-based jerseys get frequently washed, etc. (because really that's what a lot of the jerseys are made from....a synthetic which can be smelly. You will know: make sure you stand with a bunch of 20+ cyclists at the U.S.-Canada border crossing during the summer, on one of the San Juan Islands...in an enclosed room with no open windows.... Smelly polyester.)

    I'm abit beyond worrying tons about social ostracization if there is the odd occasion I'm negligent.

    On my work floor, there were 3 guys exercising right out in the hall way,.... I could smell them at times from 10 ft. away. I think they were teaching each other stretches, jumps, etc. Yea, one of them is a cyclist and he's in good shape.

    I guess I'm not going to fret over too much ..because my employer is constantly...every month laying on 14,000 employees a message/event related to fitness and health.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 04-13-2014 at 05:39 PM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

 

 

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